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‘New neighborhood on an old site’
The walls are coming down in Westpark.
The heavy machinery has moved in and houses are now being deconstructed on the Bremerton Housing Authority (BHA) property.
“Everything that’s here is coming down,” BHA Executive Director Kurt Wiest said. “I don’t think this development was ever intended to last this many years.”
Westpark was built in the early 1940s and the development is now being “deconstructed” to make room for a mixed-use community called Bay Vista.
BHA Development Manager Nancy Austin said deconstruction will be in five phases and phase one will continue throughout this month.
“We’re about 40 percent of the way through demolition over there in the first phase,” she said.
Hos Brothers Construction Inc., of Woodinville, is deconstructing the Westpark houses and plans to recycle 93 percent of the materials.
“This is just a great project,” Wiest said. “From our perspective, this is just the responsible thing to do.”
Austin said BHA wanted to recycle materials at Westpark and Hos Brothers Construction had the experience necessary for such a job.
“Only 7 percent is going to the landfill,” she said. “Everything else is going to be recycled in some manner.”
Recycling materials at Westpark is not only environmentally friendly, it’s cheaper. Austin said recycling is 10 percent cheaper than carting everything to landfills.
BHA even “recycled” the plants at Westpark. The housing authority hosted its first plant giveaway at the property last weekend and more than 100 people showed up to dig up rhododendrons, lilac bushes and rose bushes to take home and plant in their own yards.
“We’ve got 80 acres here and we intend to do more of these plant giveaways and take the natural beauty of Westpark and move it out into the community,” Wiest said.
Austin said about 75 percent of Westpark’s 571 units are vacant and BHA began helping residents find other places to live last year by talking to local landlords and hosting a “Ready to Rent” educational program.
“Technically, we’re running ahead of schedule. Everyone doesn’t have to be out until Dec. 31, the end of this year,” Austin said.
“Most people love where they are and the help they got from the housing authority,” Wiest added.
Once phase one deconstruction is complete, contractors will begin building the first part of Bay Vista. Austin said only one section of Westpark will be deconstructed at a time and contractors will begin building Bay Vista in the same phases, with phase one construction scheduled to begin in the fall.
“So every September or so there will be a new wave of deconstruction,” she said.
People will be able to move into Bay Vista as each phase is completed.
Bay Vista will be a mixed-used community with 807 units. Some houses will be public housing, low income and others will be sold at the market rate.
Bay Vista also will include eight acres of commercial space and the Bay Vista Commons, an assisted-living facility that opened in 2007 and is now at full capacity.
Bay Vista is scheduled for completion in 2013, according to Austin.
“I think at the very root of this site is taking an old site and making a new use for it,” Wiest said.